- Programme: Accelerated Development Programme
- Nationality: Sudanese
- Job Post-programme: Samah is responsible for the divisional and emerging market strategy for DAL Food.
Raising my game
Before joining the programme, I’d recently been
promoted from a technical finance and strategic
supporting role to a senior corporate leadership
position. It was challenging and complex and I had
limited time to assimilate into a very senior leadership
team. I needed to be equipped to raise my game from
a technically competent manager to an exciting leader.
I chose London Business School because of its
unique and unbeatable combination of soft and
technical skills. I wanted a rigorous programme that
would test me and help me validate my thinking at
every step and I wasn’t disappointed. The programme
has helped me reach my full potential by boosting my
assertiveness and my ability to express myself,
ensuring my views are accepted and respected.
There are huge networking opportunities at London
Business School. Since the programme, I have been
able to explore new business opportunities with
colleagues who work in the same industry.
Emerging a new leader
My experience on the programme was an eye-opener.
It was like a leadership laboratory where you have the
freedom to test leadership concepts, use trial and error
and then decide what strengths to develop and what
weaknesses to improve. Through this, you emerge as a
new leader. I discovered that leadership is not about
changing who you are, it is about challenging yourself
to become the best ‘you’ possible. When you start to
consider possibilities that were never part of your
world, and are given the tools to make changes, you
develop into a newer, better version of ‘you’.
I realised that leadership is an exciting journey that you
create. Instead of asking ‘where am I going?’ the real
question is ‘where do I want to go?’ When you
discover this secret, then your real journey as a leader
begins. I would encourage anyone who is looking for a
life-changing experience to engage on this programme.
I am now able to evaluate new business cases more
effectively. I also engage in external environmental
analysis more frequently, which makes our business
strategy sharper and more dynamic. I have learnt to
better appreciate brand equity and how to create it.
From a decision making perspective, I evaluate
strategic outcomes based on the strategic elements of
the decision and not just the outcome.
Since the programme, I’ve been promoted to a
divisional strategy role that’s increased the scope of
my responsibility from one corporate strategy portfolio
to a full divisional strategy portfolio comprised of
multiple companies. This is definitely because of the
new management approaches I have been able to
implement since the programme. For example, I have
been able to demonstrate that I can manage
innovation and change. Both of these competencies
require an element of risk taking.
As a leader, I am more confident, assertive, and
articulate, and understand the dynamics of influence
and situational leadership. I now use these tools all
the time at work. The programme has brought me to
the top of my game by challenging me as a leader,
manager and even in terms of my wellbeing. It has
been the most important project in my career to date
as it has stretched my leadership DNA and unlocked
a new ‘me’ that I did not even know existed inside.